Knowledge

Cloud vs. Server

Cloud vs. Server

When companies grow, sooner or later the question arises as to how the IT infrastructure should be designed. Not only the status quo is decisive, but also a look into the future. Especially if further company growth is forecast, this must also be reflected in the IT. In addition to deciding whether IT should be staffed in-house or externally, the question of server architecture also arises. Here there is a choice between a dedicated server (also called traditional hosting) or cloud hosting. This choice, cloud vs server, is primarily shaped by the individual requirements of each company.  

The basic function of both technologies is the same: to map your company's IT environment. If you decide on a dedicated server, all computing operations are carried out on a hardware server that you have rented or bought yourself. With cloud hosting, on the other hand, computing power, storage space and software are mapped via a network of servers that you access via the end devices. However, the differences between the two models are much more interesting.  

What Are Dedicated Servers? And When Are They Suitable?

The first step in this model is that you rent or buy your own server (or a network of servers) and thus acquire the sole user rights to it. So you have your own exclusive hardware. This works really well for large companies that have extremely high security requirements or need enormous server capacity. The best example of this is Google, but also companies that offer huge databases or big data platforms.

However, to keep the server up and running and to ensure that updates, maintenance and patches are not a problem, comprehensive IT know-how is usually necessary in your own company. In return, there is maximum transparency over the computing power and you decide yourself which operating system, which location or which RAM is used - regardless of whether it is rented or purchased. Full control, in other words.  

The next level of a dedicated server, which is even more powerful, would be a cluster consisting of several dedicated servers.

When Are Dedicated Servers Suitable?

If your company has consistent and predictable demands on its own IT capacity

For companies that need huge computing power

When companies need to separate sensitive data not only technically, but actually physically  

Advantages

Control: You decide what is used, from the power supply unit to the RAM

Planning: you always know exactly what computing power is available and can plan with it

Capacity: You're planning to host the second Google (only better)?then you probably won't get around (admittedly, quite a lot of) dedicated servers

User rights: If you value it, this can also be an advantage. You are the only person who uses this server.

Disadvantages

Know-How: You have probably already noticed that you should have some idea if you decide yourself which hardware to use.

Resources: If a dedicated server is used, you will hardly be able to avoid employing (at least) one person in the company who is also very familiar with the subject matter.

Scaling: If your company grows or you need more computing power, an additional purchase is necessary. This can not only be expensive, but also delay the process.

Costs: Since the hardware is yours alone, you must of course pay for it in full.

Downtime: If your server crashes, then you most likely have a problem. Because then nothing works anymore.

Cloud Server: Functionality and Areas of Application

Cloud servers are servers that are not hosted on your own physical hardware that you use exclusively, but are provided and managed by cloud hosting providers. This also means that other people and companies access these servers, not just you. The whole thing happens in a virtualized environment. This means that virtual servers, on which data is stored and services are hosted, and physical hosts, which manage these servers, are part of cloud hosting. This dichotomy offers flexibility in computing power and opens up potential for scaling.  

As a rule, the developers and providers decide on the hardware equipment. The advantage is clear: of course, the hardware costs are shared and reduced by the high number of users. Cloud servers are cheaper than dedicated servers and you only pay for the server space you actually use. In addition to hardware costs, internal resource requirements can also be saved, as things like maintenance or updates are no longer necessary.  

The fact that you can design your server space flexibly naturally results in great advantages for your capacities: If you have a very fluctuating demand anyway or are currently growing, cloud servers always adapt to your requirements. You can usually also choose between a private cloud and a public cloud, although this is not related to data security. Of course, this is also guaranteed with cloud computing.  

Short Digression: "The Cloud

The term "cloud" has become established not only in the field of server hosting. There is cloud software, cloud computing or even cloud providers. All these terms have in common that they refer to a server that is publicly accessible and used. In cloud computing, for example, servers are connected to each other and share the computing power of individual tasks. This increases the capacity enormously and the workload is distributed over many, smaller computers. Cloud-based services are completely different. From web hosting to file hosting (Google Drive or Dropbox) to cloud automation(Zapier or Make), there are countless ways to use this technology.  

When Is Cloud Hosting Suitable?

If your company has a growing need for its own IT infrastructure

For companies with several locations

When your system needs to be available at best 100% of the time

When your requirements fluctuate and the IT environments need to adapt flexibly to them  

Advantages

Costs: With cloud hosting, not only are the hardware costs (almost) eliminated, you also save on the infrastructure costs

Security: The data security is absolutely comparable to that of a dedicated server, but the risk of prolonged downtime is significantly lower.

Flexibility: You can flexibly add or remove computing power and thus always adapt your IT infrastructure to current conditions.

Scalability: Your business grows and with one click, so does your cloud server.

Know-How: You hardly need know how about suitable hardware in-house and don't have to worry about which CPU you use for your server. This is probably an advantage for most people.

Disadvantages

Internet access: You need a stable internet connection so that you can access the cloud servers at any time.

Cloud vs. Server: Clear Victory for The Cloud

The list of disadvantages of cloud hosting is so short because there are only a few in this comparison, especially for SMEs. The application examples of a dedicated server show that this form of hosting only has clear advantages for a few, very specific requirements. Moreover, the advantages of dedicated servers such as control and exclusive user rights are probably of little relevance to most companies. Because let's face it, it most likely doesn't matter at all whether other people and companies are using the same hardware as you. When it comes to their own IT infrastructure, most companies are probably more interested in keeping costs manageable and still using a stable and high-performance server.  

Coupled with the significantly higher flexibility and scalability, the cloud server wins in our eyes across the board. Since data security (of course) also enjoys the highest priority with cloud hosting and downtimes do not represent such a large and time-consuming loss as with dedicated servers, we recommend this model to all our customers. Especially against the background of cloud automation, cloud servers (as the name suggests) are indispensable. We are happy to support you in the analysis and subsequent automation of business processes, explain possibilities and individually address the company processes. 

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